Thursday, June 10, 2010


The past two days have a been a photographers worst nightmare for me.  If your calm enough to read this, then chances are you are not going through what I am right now.  Ok, so heres what happened:  My external Hard Drive in a RAID 0 configuration has crashed!!!!!!!!   NOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!  Spent all day yesterday trying to figure out what to do to fix it, and trying to solve the problems myself.


The drive quit appearing on my desktop, and when I check it out in Mac's Disk Utility, it shows up as only an 8 GB EMPTY drive.  NOOOOO!!!!!

Ready for the next, way worse part of the equation??  ALL OF MY PHOTOS WERE ON THE DRIVE AND I ONLY HAD 60% OF IT BACKED UP WITH NONE OF MY NEW STUFF FROM THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS!  Why, you might ask??  Because it was taking too long to backup and was slowing my computer down too much for me to work on it.  Therefore I quit the backup program (carbon copy cloner for Mac, which is FREE by the way :), and kept putting off finishing the backup for two months.  Then my hard drive dies, and I'm shit outta luck...

But wait!  Is there any hope at all?  Is this the end of CNW Photo as we know it?  FAR FROM IT!!  Even if I can't get them back, I look forward to the chance of building up even better and greater images than ever before.  It's not the end my friends.. Just a hiccup, better make that a HUGE HICCUP, in my day to day life as a photographer.  So what do I do now that many of my best images are gone?  Go out and capture far better photos and show the world that I'm not about to be slapped down by this devastating disaster.

There is still hope for the drive....  I dropped it off at Data Tech Labs in Denver, CO, and they claim that they may be able to recover everything!!!!!  I'll find out first thing tomorrow morning and post on that here.    The problem is that I was in RAID 0 format.  For the Non-Tech Nerds out there, this means that all the files are split into many fragments between two drives, this enabled my drives to run faster, but makes it more dangerous without a solid backup system in place.  One of the two drives is now clicking and crashed, which means there may be a hole in my data... or that there is a mechanical error in the system.  Let's hope for the latter.

The price is way more than you could ever expect.  The range I was given was $700-2200.  DAMMNN!!!  That's a pretty big hole in my pocket.  The good news however?  I get my data back, and have many great photos that will earn 20 times that amount (assuming I start marketing like a maniac, which I will!!)

Here's one other lesson to learn from this, besides the obvious one (BACKUP EVERYTHING, AND PERFORM A BACKUP AS ROUTINELY AS POSSIBLE, EVERY NIGHT IF YOU CAN!!!), buy insurance for your gear.  I was lucky on this one in that my insurance will cover the data recovery with a deductible that I pay.  Not bad!!

Now that you've read this, I have one question.  Is your drive backed up yet???  And do you have a backup of that backup??   For the price of the three drives, you insure that you will not lose your photos, and it will still cost less than what I'm going through.  If you still aren't sure, shoot me an e-mail and I will gladly tell you why you should back up.

If you haven't started backing up your drives yet......  Do it now!!  There is no excuse!!!  Don't pull a Connor..

That's the BUZZ for Today!  Please check back soon for more.


Mike Brown said...

I feel your pain, I lost around 100,000 images late last year, cost me around $2,000 to get them back, but it was worth it, I have more than recovered the cost. I now back everything up 3 times. - Good Luck

dorothy said...

Oh oh oh that was a terrible nightmare indeed.Hard drives,hard drives.They are now like time bombs any time they can crash.Well i personally backup all my files online with It is cheaper here compared to other online backup systems because in a year i only pay 50bucks for 200GB of storage.And they also offer a free 5GB trial version.

mortalwombat said...

I highly recommend a solid off-site backup. In my experience (I work in IT), it is fairly common for a lightning strike or a failed power supply to destroy every hard drive in your computer. This could also take out external hard drives. At that point, it doesn't matter how many hard drives your data is backed up to. If they all die, it's gone.

Off-site backup is really the only safe way to back up data, and it's not expensive. You can use removable drives that you rotate with an off-site location (like your parents house) or you can go with online, like carbonite or safecopybackup.

Jay said...

I am just getting into skiing / MTB photography, and to help fund all the toys that I have to buy I run a small business teaching people how to back up their photos and data in their home. I usually recommend Amazon S3 paired with Jungledisk to back up important data, just for the fact that it is an easy sell on "where is my data stored" because almost everyone has heard of/bought something from amazon, even grandma.

I will defiantly check out safecopybackup as a less expensive alternative for my personal photos.

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